Politics of Laos: Wikis


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The politics of Laos takes place in the framework of a single-party socialist republic. The only legal political party is the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP). The head of state is President Choummaly Sayasone, who also is secretary-general (leader) of the LPRP. The head of government is Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh. Government policies are determined by the party through the all-powerful nine-member Politburo and the 49-member Central Committee. Important government decisions are vetted by the Council of Ministers.

Laos' first, French-written and monarchical constitution was promulgated on May 11, 1947 and declared it to be an independent state within the French Union. The revised constitution of May 11, 1957 omitted reference to the French Union, though close educational, health and technical ties with the former colonial power persisted. The 1957 document was abrogated on December 3, 1975, when a communist People's Republic was proclaimed. A new constitution was adopted in 1991 and enshrined a "leading role" for the LPRP. The following year, elections were held for a new 85-seat National Assembly with members elected by secret ballot to five-year terms. This National Assembly, which essentially acts as a rubber stamp for the LPRP, approves all new laws, although the executive branch retains authority to issue binding decrees. The most recent elections took place in April 2006. The assembly was expanded to 99 members in 1997 and in 2006 elections had 115.

The FY 2000 central government budget plan called for revenue of $180 million and expenditures of $289 million, including capital expenditures of $202 million.

In recent years bomb attacks against the government have occurred, coupled with small exchanges of fire, across Laos. A variety of different groups have claimed responsibility including the Committee for Independence and Democracy in Laos and Lao Citizens Movement for Democracy.


Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Choummaly Sayasone LRPP June 8, 2006
Prime Minister Bouasone Bouphavanh LRPP June 8, 2006

The president is elected by the National Assembly for a five-year term. The prime minister and the Council of Ministers are appointed by the president with the approval of the National Assembly for a five-year term.

There are also four deputy prime ministers. As of a cabinet reshuffle on June 8, 2006, they are Maj. Gen. Douangchay Phichit (also defense minister), Thongloun Sisoulith (also foreign minister), Somsavat Lengsavad and Maj. Gen. Asang Laoly.

The 28-member cabinet also includes Onechanh Thammavong as labour minister, Chaleuan Yapaoher as justice minister, Nam Vignaket as industry and commerce minister, Sitaheng Latsaphone as agriculture minister and Sommath Pholsena as transport minister.

Legislative branch

The National Assembly (Sapha Heng Xat) has 115 members, elected for a five year term.

Political parties and elections

e • d  Summary of 30 April 2006 National Assembly of Laos election results
Lao People's Revolutionary Party (Phak Paxaxôn Pativat Lao) 113
Non-partisans 2
Total 115

Judicial branch

People's Supreme Court, the president of the People's Supreme Court is elected by the National Assembly on the recommendation of the National Assembly Standing Committee, the vice president of the People's Supreme Court and the judges are appointed by the National Assembly Standing Committee

State leaders

President H E Mr Choummaly Sayasone

Vice President H E Mr Bounnhang Vorachith

Prime Minister H E Dr Bouasone Bouphavanh

Deputy Prime Minister and President of State Control Authority H E Major General Asang Laoly

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Dr Thongloun Sisoulith

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence H E Major General Douangchay Phichith

Deputy Prime Minister and Standing Member of Government H E Dr Somsavat Lengsavad

Minister of Public Security H E Mr Thongbanh Seng-Aphone

Minister of Labour and Social Welfare H E Mrs Onechanh Thammavong

Minister of Finance H E Mr Somdy Douangdy

Minister of Information and Culture H E Mr Mounkeo Olaboune

Minister of Justice H E Dr Chaleun Yiapaoheu [1][2][3]

President of the National Assembly Mr Thongsing Thammavong

Vice-President of the National Assembly Mrs Pany Yathotou

Vice-President of the National Assembly Dr Xaysomphone Phomvihane [4][5]

President of Supreme Court Mr Khammy Sayavong

Supreme People’s Prosecutor Mr Somphanh Phengkhammy

Politburo of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party:

1.Lt General Choummaly Sayasone, General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and State President

2.Lt General Samane Vignaket, who is in charge of ideological and cultural works of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party

3.Mr Thongsing Thammavong, Chairman of the National Assembly

4.Colonel Bounnhang Vorachith, Vice President of Lao People's Democratic Republic, Standing Member of the Secretariat

5.General Sisavath Keobounphanh, President of the Lao Front for National Construction

6.Major General Asang Laoly, Deputy Prime Minister, Head of the Party's Central Inspection Committee

7.Mr Bouasone Bouphavanh, Prime Minister

8.Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Head of the Party's National External Relations Committee

9.Major General Douangchay Phichith, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence

10.Mr Somsavat Lengsavad, Standing Deputy Prime Minister

11.Mrs Pany Yathotou, Deputy Chairwoman of the National Assembly


1.Bounnhang Vorachith, State Vice-President, Standing Member of the Secretariat

2.Asang Laoly, Deputy Prime Minister, Head of the Party's Central Inspection Committee

3.Douangchay Phichith, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence

4.Bunthong Chitmani, Head of the Party's Central Organisation Commission

5.Sombat Yealyheu, Secretary of the Vientiane City Party Committee

6.Thongbanh Sengaphone, Minister of Public Security

Party Central Committee Advisor: Khamtai Siphandon

Administrative divisions

Laos is divided into 16 provinces (khoueng, singular and plural), 1 municipality* (kampheng nakhon, singular and plural), and 1 special zone** (khetphiset, singular and plural):
Attapu, Bokeo, Borikhamxay, Champassack, Houaphan, Khammouane, Louang Namtha, Louangphabang, Oudomxay, Phongsaly, Saravane, Savannakhet, Vientiane*, Vientiane, Sayaboury, Saysomboun**, Xekong, Xieng Khouang.



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